Anatomy and Physiology of the Bladder
The bladder is a sac-like organ in the pelvis that stores the urine produced by the kidneys. There are two tubular structures called ureters (one from each kidney) that drain the urine into the bladder. The urethra is the outflow tract of the bladder and connects the bladder to the exterior.
Anatomically, the bladder is the most anterior (closest to the front) organ in the pelvis, located just behind the pelvic bone. Organs closest to the bladder include the rectum (the last part of the colon), which is the most posterior (closest to the back) organ in the pelvis, the prostate gland and seminal vesicles (in males), and the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes (in females). In males, the prostate gland and seminal vesicles (organs that contribute secretions in semen) are situated below the bladder and in front of the rectum. In females, the uterus (the womb), ovaries and fallopian tubes are located posterior the bladder and anterior to the rectum.
The bladder itself is made up of four layers. These layers are important landmarks in determining how deeply the tumor has invaded and the ultimate stage of the cancer.
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